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Office of International Programs

Academic Advising

The University of Akron offers a broad range of majors and programs. Expert advising and counseling are available to help students make the best choice.

The Office of International Programs recommends you plan your schedule for the school year with your academic advisor. The advisor can help you become familiar with the variety of programs and options offered, as well as assist you with appropriate course selection. 

The number and type of courses should be planned carefully during your first year. It is wise not to take more courses than are absolutely required during the first semester or two of your academic program.

Also, make sure you have all the necessary prerequisites (specified in the Undergraduate Bulletin) for each course, adequate information about each course, and understand the expectations of the professor so that you do not choose too many courses that require an unusual amount of work. Too many difficult courses may result in poor academic performance, discouragement and frustration.

If you choose your courses wisely each semester in consultation with your academic advisor, your success will be enhanced.

Attendance

Students should attend all classes for which they have registered. Each instructor will inform the students of his/her attendance policy. Many instructors deduct points from each student's grade unless the student has a written medical excuse or some other acceptable reason for absences.

Repeated absences from class may result in disciplinary action. For example, a student may be dropped from the class. If this happens, a student must receive permission from both the instructor and the dean of the college that offers the course to be readmitted.

Study hints

To avoid falling behind in your work starting on the first day, you must pay careful attention to your note taking, preparation for classes, your study environment and the budgeting of your study time.

It is important to take accurate notes during class. Do not try to write down every word your professor says; listen carefully and note the important points of the lecture. Persons with language difficulties may wish to record the lecture with prior permission of the professor. You may wish to compare notes with other students in the class. Sometimes, studying with other students in class can help you in understanding important points.

Careful notes on your assigned reading are helpful to study efficiently for tests. Outline the major points of required readings and lectures and review these notes frequently. Daily preparation is the key to successful study.

  • Review notes frequently.
  • Ask questions when necessary.
  • Answers can frequently be found in the supplemental workbooks that accompany texts.
  • Help in the form of tutoring is available on campus through the Tutoring Centers in Polsky and Bierce Library.
  • Budget your time to include adequate study time as well as breaks for recreation and relaxation. Spend some time each week doing something you enjoy and with people you like.
  • Create a balance between your study time and your social life. The average student needs to study or do homework for at least two hours for every one hour of class. Thus, if you are taking 14 credits, you probably need to study at least 28 hours outside of class each week in order to obtain good grades.

Methods of Evaluation (Test/Examinations)

Evaluation at The University of Akron falls into a number of categories:

  • Placement tests
  • Proficiency tests
  • Performance tests
  • Subjective/objective tests of course material learned

Placement tests evaluate a student's academic achievement in a subject area so the student can be placed at the appropriate level of study. For example, students are required to take a Math Placement Test before registering for an undergraduate math class. Proficiency tests are similar, but they allow students to earn advanced placement and automatic credit for the lower-level courses. (Ask your academic advisor about them.)

Performance tests evaluate a student's ability to apply the material learned. These tests are most often used in conjunction with laboratory work.

  • Subjective/objective tests are most familiar to us as quizzes, midterms or final exams. These tests are used to determine the student's grade based on what the student has learned. Quizzes are short tests given during the semester to measure the learning of a small amount of material. Some professors give surprise quizzes to encourage their students to do their homework each day. Some announce them in advance, and some do not.
  • Examinations (exams)most frequently fall into the category of midterm tests or final exams, although some professors give three or four major tests each semester. Exams take a number of different forms with the categories of subjective and objective.
      • Subjective examinations usually require essay type responses. This evaluation measures the student's ability to organize course information, relate it to the problem posed in the questionand formulate an answer in the student's words. Subjective exams require a high degree of comprehension and interpretation as well as application by the student. Sometimes these tests are given in take-home or open-book form. Take-home tests allow the student to work on the answers outside of class. Open-book tests allow the student to use reference texts in class.
      •  
        • Objective examinations require the student to identify the correct answer from among a set of options. These examination formats may be true or false, multiple choice or matching.

      Whether you are taking an examination or writing a paper, academic dishonesty, or cheating, is a serious offense punished severely. All written work must be your own and in your own words.

      If you incorporate the ideas of another writer in your paper you must be sure to give credit for the idea in the form of a footnote citation. The professor can explain how this should be done. Copying the work of another person without giving credit is called plagiarizing.

      Other forms of cheating are copying from another person during an examination, discussing answers during an exam and hiding answers or formulas on your person during the test. Another form of cheating is taking someone else's information from a computer.

      If you are discovered engaging in academic dishonesty you may be expelled from the University.

      Grades and grade point averages

      Grades are an evaluation of your academic work.

      Based on your test results and other measurements of your progress, such as attendance and class participation, each professor records a grade for you.

      The quality of your performance as indicated by these grades is explained in the chart below. At the University of Akron, quality points are assigned to the letter grades given by your instructors so that a number also represents your work performance.

      Grade Quality Points Rating
      A 4.0 Superior
       A- 3.7
        B+ 3.3 Good
      B 3.0
       B- 2.7
        C+ 2.3 Fair
      C 2.0
        C- 1.7
         D+ 1.3 Poor*
       D 1.0 Poor*
         D- 0.7 Poor*
       F 0.0 Failure

      (*) At the undergraduate level, an F is a failing grade. At the graduate level both D+ and below are failing grades. In certain majors, a minimum grade of C is required (2.0 quality points). Check with your department for specific requirements.

      Other symbols that may be found on the student's transcript are:

      Symbol Quality Points

      Meaning

      CR 0.0 Credit
      NC 0.0 Non Credit
      PI 0.0 Permanent Incomplete
      IP 0.0 In Progress
      NGR 0.0 No Grade Reported
      INV 0.0 Invalid Grade Reported
      AUD 0.0 Audit
      R 0.0 Repeat

      The statistical measure of your overall performance for a semester is called a
      Grade-Point Average (GPA).This average is determined by multiplying the quality points awarded in each course by the number of its credit hours. For example, if you receive an A(4.0 quality points) for a three credit-hour course, your total quality points for that course would equal 12. To determine your cumulative grade point average, add the total quality points for all courses taken and divide by the total number of credit hours. An example follows:

      Grade Grade Points Credit Hours Quality Points
      A = 4.0 grade points x 3 credit hours = 12.0
      B = 3.0 grade points x 3 credit hours = 9.0
      B+ = 3.3 grade points x 2 credit hours = 6.6
      C+ = 2.3 grade points x 4 credit hours = 9.2
      Totals 12 credit hours 36.8
      GPA 36.8 / 12 = 3.067

      The figure 3.067 represents your semester GPA. When you receive your grade transcript at the end of each semester, the total quality points and GPA are already calculated for you. You will also find, from the second semester on, that a cumulative GPA will be figured for you on the basis of all your completed credits and quality points. This is often called the cumulative average. It is this average which is used to determine whether or not a student is in good standing at the University. Any course with a grade of C- or below may be repeated twice by an undergraduate student. Some majors may further limit the number of times you may repeat required courses. The last grade earned will be calculated in the GPA. See your advisor if you plan to repeat a class.

      Each college of the University has a minimum cumulative average requirements of its students. For most undergraduates, this average is 2.00. A minimum average of 3.00 is required for both master's level and doctoral level students. If a student falls below these averages, the student may be placed on academic probation. If you face this problem, go see your academic advisor.

      Grade transcripts

      A grade transcript is the official University record of all the courses taken, when they were taken, the grades and credit hours earned, and /or degrees you have been awarded. The grade transcript is your progress report and includes your GPA.

      An unofficial copy of your transcript is available to you at your "My Akron" account. You may request an official transcript at your "My Akron" account as well. The Office of International Programs advises students to request transcripts after all grades for the last semester are posted otherwise the transcript will be missing some grades.

      Graduation/commencement

      Students who are about to complete their degree requirements are eligible to apply for graduation from The University of Akron.

      Sometime early in the semester prior to the semester they would like to graduate. For specific information, please go http://www.uakron.edu/registrar/graduation/

      Registration, schedule change and withdrawal

      Registration is held from the middle of the previous semester to the beginning of the new semester. You can find the exact registration dates and the details on how to register on My Akron.

      In order to register, follow the directions below:

      1. Consult with your advisor regarding the classes you should take.
      2. Log-on to My Akron and go to Student Center.
      3. Search for the classes you need and register for them. Take special note of the location and meeting time of each class.
      4. You must go to the Student Center to view your account, you may make a payment on-line or by check in Simmons Hall.
      5. Print a copy of your class schedule for easy reference.

      Registration will be easier if you understand the course numbering system used by the University. Each course has a series of identification numbers preceding the title of the course on the Schedule of Classes. The example below illustrates the meaning of each group of numbers in the series: (2512)3600-120-001.

      Class Number Subject Catalog Section Title
      2512 3600 120 001 Intro. to Ethics

       

      The class number for the course is used by the Registrar's Office for identification purposes. The subject number indicates which department offers the course. In this example, 3600 represents the Department of Philosophy. The catalog number identifies the exact course offered. In this example, the 120 stands for Introduction to Ethics, and the 001 indicates the section number in which you will be enrolled.

      The three-digit course number also tells you the level at which the course will be taught. The following chart interprets these levels. The higher the course number, the more difficult or advanced the course:

      100-199 First-year level (beginning, introductory level)
      200-299 Second-year level
      300-399 Third-year level
      400-499 Fourth-year level
      500-699 Master's level
      600-799 Juris Doctor level
      700-899 Doctoral level

      After registering for a course and participating in a few classes, students may wish not to continue in a course. A student should formally drop the course within 2 weeks of the start of the start of the semester for semester long courses. They may withdraw for a period of time after that please check dates on the Registar's website.

      Students will often substitute another course for the one dropped, or withdrawn and this requires the students to add a new course to their schedule.

      • Dropped classes do not appear on transcripts withdrawn coursework appears on transcripts.

      You may drop a course online the first 15 days of the semester (including weekends). To add, the student must carefully complete the correct form so that the course changes are formally made on his/her record.

      • The result of not properly dropping a course will be a grade of F. If you do not properly add a course, you will not be officially enrolled in the course and will not receive a grade or credit.

      If you wish to add a course, you can do so during the first week; after that time you will need the approval of your advisor, the course instructor and your academic dean.

      Note: International students MUST maintain FULL-TIME status. If dropping or withdrawing from a course causes you to fall below full-time, you must consult the OIP before dropping the course. Full-time for undergraduates is 12 credits, and Full-time for graduates is nine credits.

      On rare occasions, a student finds that because of medical or other personal reasons he/she must leave the University. In such cases, students usually withdraw completely from classes. Consult the OIP and your academic advisor about this procedure if it ever pertains to you. Also, there is a specific policy relating to refunds in the event of withdrawal.

      Methods of instruction and class participation

      The most common method of instruction in university classes is the lecture. This method is often supplemented by small group meetings/discussion classes. Professors supplement lectures with reading assignments from textbooks or from the library. It is important to take notes in the lectures and on the readings since tests will cover both sets of information.

      Class participation may or may not be required, depending on the size of the class. If discussion is not possible during class, make an appointment to see your professor during office hours to discuss subjects or ask questions of interest. Professors encourage student contact.

      Some of you will face your first experience in a seminar or laboratory setting at the University. Seminars are usually very small classes at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level in which discussion and prepared presentations are the major requirements. Laboratory work provides you with practical experience through application.

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